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A couple of days interfering with the Barbel of the beautiful River Wye. 

I didn't need asking twice when Johnny asked me to join him for a couple of days leisurely Barbel fishing over on the River Wye on the Red Lion stretch of water over at Bredwardine. It was a river I had never fished before, so laden with a car full of hemp, boilies and pellets I took the long early morning drive across from home, and arrived in time for a bit of breakfast with Johnny, his wife Charlotte and junior Jensen Emil, who had already spent a few days there with Nigel Bothaway and family catching some lovely Barbel & Chub.

I couldn't wait to get started and see the river, and it sure didn't disappoint, with lovely clear water, streamer weed, bends, pools overhanging trees... loads and loads of really fishy looking spots. Straight away Johnny had a nice Barbel on a boilie, while the Chub Queen (and Barbel Queen- it matters not which) Charlotte nobbled a couple of nice Chub in the evening.

Being a keenie, I dragged myself out of bed before dawn each morning, kind of in hope of a Barbel, but also looking to see the river at its most ethereal and get some shots of the dawn, before joining the other boys and girls for a bit of food at the more civilised hour they managed to stir from the pit.

During the course of the stay we had some nice Barbel (although, as usual, I lost the biggest one I hooked on a snag after it bolted off downstream like a runaway train on an unstoppable run- bugger), and the average size of Chub was really nice- I think I had seven from one pitch in an evening, and almost all were over 4lbs, with the best at 5lb 6oz. I know most of the Barbel-Heads seem to despise them, but at that average size I had no complaints.

A 'Chubby' overhang. Didn't catch anything from under it though- even though the bank was entwined with protruding roots under the surface.

As is often the case, the best was saved until last. I had sat in a swim all day feeding it up, and had caught some nice Chub and a Barbel. Johnny and family had been out to the Brecon Beacons for the day and had joined me for a short evening session before I had to go home. So they dropped into a spot just 20 yards upstream of where I was sitting, and out went a couple of rods- one for Charlotte & one for Johnny; with no loose feed, no stringer or PVA bag- just hookbaits only.  Johnny quickly brought down a welcome beer, and as he handed it over we heard a squeal and looked round to see Charlotte hanging on grimly to her rod as the line buzzed from her reel! A few moments later it rolled into the landing net, and needless to say it was the biggest of the couple of days at a shade over 10lbs. The Barbel Queen strikes again!! I did ask her if she could just run her fingers through my bait buckets. If only us blokes could bottle that pheromone...

We fished on for a while before heading back to the pub on darkness for some more excellent grub courtesy of the Red Lion.
A lovely place, and highly recommended if you get half a chance.

The Red Lion Hotel site is here (non-commercial plug, by the way- it's just a nice place).  

The Red Lion Hotel, Bredwardine. 

Ethereal (good word- must use it again!) mist over the river.

My first Wye Barbel. Only a little'un, but they're all welcome.

A dead fishy looking pool that gave up only a couple of Chub for yours truly.. although Charlotte was to lose a nice Barbel in here eventually.

The Chub Queen (and no, I don't mean Christopher Biggins).

She then swapped into Barbel Queen and wound this ten pounder in. Good work!

My best of the trip- 8lb 10oz. It fought like mad too, which was nice.


Trying to tempt fate!

A 4 pound plus Wye Chub taken on darkness.

And followed next cast by this 5lb 6oz fish.

Imagine what happens to your bait on the river bed? This minnow frenzy occurred when I just dropped a bit of my sandwich in an inch of water at the edge!

Up at first light to catch the dawn... and hopefully a fish or two.

JJ lands a nice Barbel...

... and Emil helps show it off for a picture.



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